Our Euro built Oceanis 43 has over the last 6 months seen a problem emerging where forward gear cannot be selected, both when moving from neutral and transiting from reverse; not every time but often enough to be a real worry.

It is as if the selector is out of adjustment and nothing happens when moving to forward, this is particularly scary when reversing into the marina.

The club "bar experts" insist it is the brass cones in the gearbox requiring lapping but input from the SeaKnots crew will be helpful, especially before we pay for the gearbox removal and hourly repair time.



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Will the boys in the pub pay your bill if they're wrong? These boats are new enough they shouldn't have issues with the cones wearing. Unless you haven't checked or changed the trans oil. If you haven't changed the oil recently start with that. Then look at the simple things before you have someone tear your transmission apart. Start by checking the shifter linkage as well as the cable ends, both at the shifter as well as transmission. Grease the linkage and cables to prevent any binding or friction. Have someone shift in and out of FWD and Reverse while you watch the cables at the transmission. Is it still under warranty? If all else fails then call your dealer or trusted mechanic.
Good luck


Thanks for the input.

The "experts" feel the cones are not worn, the opposite they feel they are polished because

we have been too careful and put the box into gear softly. The brass apparently needs some linishing to grab the opposing cone.

We will see.... though the actions you recommended with the linkages have been well and truly attempted.



Robert, run, don't walk away from "the experts" as their theory seems a bit far fetched. Good luck and post the results.


I only saw this thread today! I had the same problem last year with my Oceanis 40 2010. In my case it was the reverse that would not engage all the times. I also was suggested to remove and check the gearbox. But it turned out that it was just the cable that goes to the gear box. A simple adjustment resolved that. In my case the cable travel was too short. The forward was firmly engaged but cable did not move sufficiently to engage the reverse. I hope your case had a simpler solution as in my case!

Regards, Luis

Thank you Luis,

We have been away for 8 weeks and are about to begin trying the options you crew have supplied.



Morning SeaKnots team, especially Mike.

Well Liberte been has slipped, antifouled and polished and most importantly the Gori feathering three blade prop has been serviced.

Surprise, surprise there was quite a bit of coral growth in the gearing, not sufficient to jam it completely though enough to make the feathering operation quite stiff. A clean, recoat with PropGold and importantly plenty of marine grease and all is good.

To the credit of our engineer, who proposed the gear box fix, once he had played with the Gori he was confident the problem lay with the propeller.

Of interest we were recently in Turkey where six of us chartered a Jeanneau 53. At the handover after the charter I quizzed the staff about  my gearbox problem.  They did little to ease my concerns at that time as they advised they are required to relap the gearbox cones every 500-750 hours.

Thank you those who responded.



Robert, thanks for the update, glad all is well. As for lapping the gear box cones in such a short period of time I still have my doubts about it. Just remember not to fix something that isn't broke. 


Mike and the SeaKnots team,

Stop the presses regarding the gearbox news.

Box worked well until it warmed up when it returned to its bad habits. Two more engineers have confirmed the need for hand lapping the cones and further investigation of the Jeanneau site reveals a litany of slipping bronze cones. She is booked in for a new year fix after which I will keep you posted of the result.

On another tack I am seeking information on the wiring details of the 43. Our previous Beneteau was an Oceanis 393 and throughout the wiring loom there were quite a few 12 volt take off points ready for the installation of fans, lights and other similar purposes.

Are any of the SeaKnots members aware of similar points in the Oceanis 43 which are live yet simply finished with male and female plugs as we intend to fit two Caframo fans prior to summer really developing.

Regards and compliments of the season.


Thanks for the update. Sure hope they'll cover the repairs under warranty. Keep us posted.

As for the wiring according to the schematic there should be two take off points for fans in the salon, one on each side. While I haven't actually seen them they should be somewhere near the forward bulkhead. I think you'll like the Camframo fans. They're quiet and use very little power and can be adjusted to face a variety of directions. I did have a problem with two of them where for no reason they turned on at the slowest speed and wouldn't shut off. Canframo replaced the first for free even though it was well over two years old. When the other failed I had to buy another on my own as it was much older. I'd still buy them again though since they're much better than any others we've had.


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